‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ Songwriter Curly Putman Dead at 85
"He Stopped Loving Her Today" songwriter Curly Putman died on Sunday (Oct. 30) at the age of 85, just three weeks before his 86th birthday.
A member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame since 1976, Putnam was the writer behind many iconic country songs including "Green, Green Grass of Home," which was first recorded by Johnny Darrell in 1965 and then covered by Porter Wagoner, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Roger Miller and Gram Parsons, as well as "My Elusive Dreams" and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," among many others.
His most iconic hit was George Jones' CMA Song of the Year "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which he co-wrote with Bobby Braddock. The song reached No. 1 and earned a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, ACM awards for Single of the Year and Song of the Year and two CMA awards for Song of the Year, first in 1980, and again in 1981.
Putnam also released two solo albums,1967’s Lonesome Country of Curly Putman and 1969’s World of Country Music, and placed three charting singles. His highest-charting hit came in 1960 with “The Prison Song,” which peaked at No. 23 on the country charts.
Frequent collaborator Braddock and publisher Troy Tomlinson shared their memories of the singer on social media upon hearing of their friend's death.
"I can't think of anyone who has mentored more songwriters," Braddock wrote on Facebook Sunday evening. "There was once a songwriter Curly believed in so much that he had Tree Publishing take the writer's advances out of his own earnings -- and his instincts were right, because that young songwriter, Sonny Throckmorton, eventually had one of the hottest hot streaks in the history of country music."
"Goodbye dear friend, mentor, co-writer, and thanks for all my songs that you got cut when I was that clueless kid from Florida who didn't know what he was doing," Braddock continued. "You were such an important part of my life on Music Row, and there are so many others who will say the same thing about their friendship with you."
Tomlinson quoted one of Putman's timeless songs as a tribute to the late songwriter.
According to Billboard, funeral arrangements are pending.
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